Sunday, August 12, 2012

Ok, I am going to write about the last few days because I haven't yet. I think I left off at the fire station in Pinheiro. The next morning, I rolled out of there around noon. I was running late to catch the five oclock ferry, but with limited internet access it took me the morning to communicate with my couchsurfing hostess in São Luis, and identify on google maps how to get there once getting off the ferry. So, taking off, I headed out of town, passed the laked fields dotted with buffalo, horses, cows, snowy white herons and white cow birds. The grass was a brilliant green and the landscape fairly striking. A buffalo grazing by the side of the road startled as passed and bounded into the pond below. The wind pushed against me; I played some tunes on my ipod. Struggling past the wind, the rough road, and the slight incline, I finally, gradually, made it around a curve in the road and things became easier. About ten kilometers in, I reached a fork in the road. To the right led to points South, including a 360 km route around the bay to Sao Luis. To the left led to Alcântara, a historic town and site of a Quilombo (escaped slave rebel community), and current site of the most important satellite launch station in Brazil. And to the left also led to Cujupe, the port of the ferry across the São Marcos Bay to Sao Luis. 66 kilometers left and I hoped to reach the five o clock ferry, four hours away, a challenge when you are fully loaded. I ate some lunch at a restaurant there at the fork in the road and spoke with some folks eating there who became very excited about my trip, and appreciative of my Portuguese;) The owner blessed my trip, and comped my meal. I felt the sense of being boosted, carried--like crowdsurfing. From Belem to Sao Luis, in the end, people never failed to help me out. It is as though I was passed along from town to town by supportive individuals at each stop, helping my trip along. I actually crowdsurfed when I was sixteen at a the 1997 HFS´tival, when Third Eye Blind played Graduate. Passed above the crowd, each person I passed over lending a hand to keep me up, for ninety seconds that felt like an eternity. The 66 kilometers to Cujupe were stressful until I realized I would not make the five o´clock ferry, and instead I would catch the 7 o´clock. I stopped for some popsicles--coco, tapioca, and avocado--and then calmly I pedaled the last twenty kilometers. That is when I saw that large tarantula on the side of the road that I thought was dead, but then put up its dukes when I approached to take some photos. I crossed on the ferry, and chatted with an engineer of the satellite launch station who was on his way to São Paulo to teach a class. When I got to the port, it was late, and folks advised me that my hostess´s house was very far and it would not be advisable to bike there at that late hour--8:30pm. Plus, I had already biked 90kms and was exhausted. Instead, they suggested I stay at the port, and the restaurant owner would let me camp there. I called the hostess, let her know I would come the next day, I had dinner, then set up camp and went to sleep. The next morning, I headed into town. The way was long and somewhat complicated, so it was definitely good that I had saved the trip for the morning. I stopped for coffee, and macaxeira and tapioca cakes. I found my way to the house. Then started my stay in São Luis. My hostess, Andrea Paula, is a psychologist and mother of a nine-year-old son. We have cooked for each other, and are language-exchanging--English and Portuguese, and now learning French together. In São Luis, I have now seen both the historical center and the beach. I have a fairly good handle of the city from the seat of a bicycle. I played soccer on the beach last night. At some point I would like to make it to a forró club. That will come sooner or later. I am taking the opportunity now that I have internet, to upload some photos and clear some space from my hard drive. Recently my Kindle screen broke, and thankfully they are sending me a replacement under warrantee. In the meantime, I am going to use Kindle for PC, but my hard drive is so full that I can´t download more books until I clear some of it. If you go to my google plus page, you can see some of the photos I upload, which are from various stages in my trip. By the way, during this time of increased access to the internet, I have had the opportunity to realize that google plus has a bunch of really cool features and has become quite integrated, making it a solid social networking tool. Facebook is officially on notice. Serious and seriously threatening (or could it be complimentary?) competition in the ring of social networking.

1 comment: said...


This is your cousin, Adam. The kids & I were taking a a break from Sunday chores & were checking out your blog. We want to know if you have a map of your route so far posted somewhere. Oh, and Josephine said she is going to ride to Tierra del Fuego & back when she gets older. Ride on!